Spider heroes from across the Marvel Multiverse are being enslaved or killed, but one makes an unexpected return after being erased from existence.
The following contains spoilers for Spider-Man #4, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
Somehow, one Spider hero appears to have returned to the Marvel Universe after being erased from existence.
Writer Dan Slott and artist Mark Bagley bring readers the “End of the Spider-Verse” in their new Spider-Man series, which sees the Multiverse’s Spiders under attack by the god-like Shathra. The villain wants to turn every Spider hero into her wasp-like slaves, and if not, be severed from the Web of Life and erased from existence, such as what happened to Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman and Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the title. Despite this, Spider-Man #4 reveals that although Peter was wiped from reality at the end of Spider-Man #3, he is somehow alive again in Spider-Man #4 and working as a scientist for Norman Osborn at Oscorp.
Peter’s miraculous return arrives by the end of Spider-Man #4, though he isn’t shown as his usual web-slinging self. Instead, he uses a crutch with one arm and still wears glasses, indicating that he may have never gotten his superpowers from a radioactive spider bite. Peter has been referred to as the “Chosen One” in “End of the Spider-Verse,” but whether his resurrection is a result of his Chosen One status, another reason, or this is an entirely different Peter Parker variant, remains to be seen.
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However Peter returned, it may allow for other Spider heroes severed from the Web of Life to be saved as well, like Jessica Drew. Peter was erased by a corrupted Spider-Gwen while trying to secure the last Golden Spider, which would have been capable of reweaving lost strands into the Web of Life, bringing back Spider-Woman and whoever else was wiped out. Though Peter, Araña and Night-Spider captured the Golden Spider, they were swarmed by Shathra’s enslaved Spider minions, and the battle destroyed the Golden Spider in addition to taking Peter’s life.
The resurrected Peter is also in the possession of a strange web teleported to Earth-616 by the Norman Osborn of Earth-44145, right before Osborn sacrificed himself to delay Shathra’s plans for the web. According to Julia Carpenter/Madame Web, this Norman was crucial to her plan to save the Spider-Verse, as was Peter. For the time being though, without Peter to be the “Chosen One,” Web and the surviving Spiders have recruited Peter Palmer from Earth-616 Beta to fill in for Parker, who is regarded as a “prototype” version of the main Spider-Man.
Along with Slott and Bagley, Spider-Man #4 is inked by John Dell and Andrew Hennessy, colored by Edgar Delgado and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. Main cover art for the issue is by Bagley and Delgado, with variant cover artwork contributed to by Humberto Ramos, Delgado, John Cassaday and Laura Martin. The issue is now on sale from Marvel Comics.